Germ-Zapping Robot can sanitise a hospital room in 10 minutes

A robot is helping hospitals lower their risk of patient infections from deadly pathogens and multi drug resistant organisms. The Xenex Germ-Zapping Robot emits waves of ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy bugs found in hospitals and medical centres.

Amy Gram, director of Infection Prevention at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, explains: “In infection prevention, our goal is to provide a clean, safe environment for our patients, their families and our employees. This latest technology provides an added level of protection in combating Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) caused by pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and Staphylococcus aureus.”

According to Xenex HAIs kill the same amount of people in the US as AIDS, breast cancer and road accidents combined, with the associated costs of HAIs adding up to more than $30 million every year for the healthcare industry.

Using UV light is not a new idea, but the robot system provides an easy to use and safe method of using the light for the first time. The Xenex robot uses pulsed xenon, a high-intensity UV light. The light is emitted from the device which then penetrates the cell walls of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, mould, fungus and spores. The light fuses the DNA of the organisms which renders them unable to mutate or reproduce, effectively killing them on the spot.

The Germ-Zapping Robot is used in conjunction with regular cleaning and sanitising routines. Once the room has been cleaned as normal according to hospital regulations, the Xenex robot enters the room and is left to do its work at the highest traffic and high-risk areas, a room can be completely sanitised within 10 minutes.

Even the most dangerous of pathogens are no match for the Germ-Zapping Robot, it can kill Clostridium difficile (C.diff), norovirus, influenza, Ebola and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

More than 400 hospitals across Europe, Asia, Africa and the US have used the Xenex robots to assist staff in infection reduction. In some of these, infection rate reductions have been as much as 70%.